Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why You Should Avoid Debt

Many voters are clamoring for the federal government to reduce its debt levels. There are a few simple, bottom-line reasons for all of us to avoid borrowing, and to pay off the debts that we have.

You can't go bankrupt if you don't have debts. You can be poor. You can have a modest lifestyle. But you won't have to plead with debt collectors, seek out credit counselors, get painful scowls at the Bank of Mom and Dad, or file for bankruptcy.

You can't lose your home if it's not mortgaged. Pay off your mortgage, and no bank will have a reason to foreclose. Whether you're gaining equity or losing it, you won't go underwater. Of course, you have to keep paying property taxes and similar assessments. But if you have the money management skills to pay off your mortgage, those other obligations will be easy.

You won't have to sweat your credit rating if you don't borrow. For obscure and arcane reasons, your credit rating can fluctuate from month to month. It won't matter if you're not trying to borrow.

You'll live better in the long run if you spend less on interest payments. Why enrich banks? Pay less interest and you'll have more money to buy stuff.

You'll have a more secure retirement with no debt. Once you're on a fixed income, debt can be a real monster. Retire your debts and your retirement will be better.

It's hard to avoid borrowing for some things. Many can afford college, cars and homes only by taking out loans. But keep the borrowing to a minimum, and pay off the loans that you have as fast as possible. You'll enjoy the peace of mind.

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